Hans Pfitzner

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hans Pfitzner, photo by Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski , 1910

Hans Erich Pfitzner (born May 5, 1869 in Moscow , † May 22, 1949 in Salzburg ) was a German composer , conductor and author of theoretical and political writings, often with a decidedly anti-Semitic aim.


Saalhof around 1900, domicile of the Hoch Conservatory from 1878 to 1888

Hans Pfitzner was born as the son of the orchestra violinist and music director Robert Pfitzner (1825–1904) and his wife Wilhelmine Pfitzner, born at the Leipzig Conservatory . Reimer (1841-1924), born. His parents moved with him to Frankfurt am Main in 1872 . Pfitzner received his first music lessons from his father. At the age of eleven he composed his first works in 1880, and in 1884 the first traditional songs were written.

From 1886 to 1890 Pfitzner studied composition with Iwan Knorr and piano with James Kwast at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt . At this time he became a member of the St. Pauli Choir , which belonged to the German Choir . From 1892 to 1893 he taught theory and piano at the Koblenz Conservatory . In 1894 he accepted a post as an unpaid Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater in Mainz . In 1895, Pfitzner's first major works were premiered there, the opera Der arme Heinrich and the incidental music for Das Fest auf Solhaug by Henrik Ibsen .

In 1897 Pfitzner moved to Berlin and became a teacher of composition and conducting at the Stern Conservatory . In 1899 Hans Pfitzner and Mimi Kwast, a daughter of his former piano teacher, married. The marriage resulted in the sons Paul (1903-1936) and Peter (1906-1944) and the daughter Agnes (1908-1939). The fourth child, Johannes, born in 1911, died immediately after birth.

Hans Pfitzner, 1905

The world premiere of Pfitzner's second opera Die Rose vom Liebesgarten took place in 1901 in the Stadttheater am Brausenwerth (today in Wuppertal ). The opera was performed at the Vienna Court Opera in 1905 under the direction of Gustav Mahler .

In 1903 Pfitzner was also first conductor at the Berlin Theater des Westens . From 1907 to 1908 he was the conductor of the Kaim Orchestra in Munich. In 1908 the family moved to Strasbourg . Pfitzner directed the Municipal Conservatory and the symphony concerts of the Strasbourg Philharmonic . In 1910 he also took over the musical direction of the Strasbourg Opera, where he also worked as a director . In 1913 he was appointed professor.

During the First World War , Pfitzner volunteered for the military in 1915, but was postponed.

In 1917, the "Musical Legend" Palestrina , which is considered Pfitzner's most important work, was premiered in the Munich Prinzregententheater under Bruno Walter . The focus of the multi-layered drama about Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is the tension carried over into the Renaissance period between the autonomy of the work of art and artist on the one hand and the demands of society on the other.

After Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France , Pfitzner moved to Unterschondorf am Ammersee in 1919 . In 1919/1920 he was temporarily conductor of the Munich Philharmonic . In 1920 he became head of a master class for composition at the Prussian Academy of Arts . In 1921 he composed his romantic cantata Von deutscher Seele based on poems by Joseph von Eichendorff , and in 1922 the piano concerto in E flat major.

After he had to undergo biliary surgery in 1923, Adolf Hitler visited him in the hospital. In the same year he composed the violin concerto in B minor and in 1925 the string quartet in C sharp minor. In 1926 his wife Mimi died.

The celebrations and honors on his 60th birthday in 1929 once again brought Pfitzner great public recognition. In the same year he received a teaching position at the State Academy of Music in Munich and moved his residence to Munich. In 1930 he composed the choral fantasy The Dark Empire , a funeral music based on poems by Michelangelo , Goethe , Conrad Ferdinand Meyer and Richard Dehmel . In 1930/31 he wrote his last opera Das Herz . In 1932 he reworked the string quartet in C sharp minor (1925) into a symphony . In 1934 he was retired from the State Academy of Music and Music, but because of his excessive demands for old-age security, there was a dispute with the Prussian Prime Minister Hermann Göring . In 1936 his son Paul died. The following year Pfitzner fell out with his children Peter and Agnes.

In 1939 the celebrations and honors for Pfitzner's 70th birthday were far less spectacular than ten years earlier. His depressed daughter Agnes, who was suffering from the end of her relationship with an SS officer and who felt she was failing as an assistant doctor, committed suicide with potassium cyanide two weeks after the celebrations . Pfitzner reacted blankly. The loss of his daughter and the alienation from his son Peter are likely to have significantly influenced Pfitzner's increasingly intolerable character. In December 1939 Pfitzner had a second marriage with Mali Stoll nee. Soherr (1893–1963) a. In 1942, Pfitzner and his wife escaped death in a bomb attack near Nuremberg, although the sleeping car in which they were traveling was completely destroyed. In 1943 his house in Munich was hit by bombs and he moved to Vienna- Rodaun . In 1944 his second son Peter fell in Russia. With that the composer had lost all of his children.

Honorary grave of Hans Pfitzner at the Vienna Central Cemetery

Pfitzner fled to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1945 , where he found shelter for refugees. The following year he moved to a retirement home in Munich-Ramersdorf. In 1948 he was classified as “not affected by the law” as part of the denazification process by the Munich Spruchkammer . Declarations of honor were received from the composers and conductors Walter Braunfels , Hans Franke , Hans Knappertsbusch , Hans Rosbaud , Arnold Schönberg and Bruno Walter, as well as from Alma Mahler-Werfel and Carl Zuckmayer .

In October 1948 Pfitzner suffered a stroke from which he was able to recover. In February 1949 he took part in rehearsals and the first post-war performance of Palestrina in Vienna . The Vienna Philharmonic offered him an apartment in the Kustodenstöckl in the Belvedere, where Anton Bruckner had spent the last year of his life. Pfitzner was not averse to settling again in Vienna, but that never happened. On the way to celebrate his 80th birthday in his hometown of Frankfurt, he suffered his second stroke in Salzburg. On his birthday on May 5th, he saw a performance of his C major symphony in the Mozarteum . He died on May 22nd in Salzburg. Three days later there was a memorial service in the Mozarteum. Although he had stated in his will that he would be buried next to his first wife Mimi in the Schondorf cemetery , the Vienna Philharmonic arranged for him to be buried in an honorary grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 14 C, number 16).

Musical work and reception

Pfitzner's work combines romantic and late romantic elements with extensive thematic work, atmospheric musical drama and chamber music intimacy. It represents a peculiar offshoot of the classical-romantic tradition, whose conservative musical aesthetics and general validity Pfitzner vehemently defended against contemporary trends in his writings. The works of the late, even post-romanticist, who believes in inspiration , show great compositional qualities and, with some brooding bulkiness, are perhaps even closer to a modern tonal language than intended by their creator, judging by his musical aesthetic utterances. Arthur Honegger , for example, wrote in his essay on Pfitzner's Palestrina in 1955 , despite some criticism of an overly polyphonic and agitated orchestral composition and sometimes excessively long proportions: “Musically, the work is designed with a superiority that deserves respect. [...] The leitmotifs are clearly shaped and make it easy to follow them [...] "

Hugo Lederer : bust of Hans Pfitzner, 1902

Pfitzner's work was highly valued by contemporary colleagues such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss . His second string quartet from 1902/03 was expressly praised by Mahler as a masterpiece. Thomas Mann paid tribute to the opera in a short essay Palestrina published in October 1917 , which he later expanded and included in his considerations of an apolitical . Together with other artists, he founded the Hans-Pfitzner-Verein für deutsche Tonkunst in 1918 .

In the decade after the premiere of his opera Palestrina in 1917, Pfitzner was considered the leading exponent of a decidedly German and decidedly anti-modernist concept of music. Paul Bekker , whom Pfitzner wrote in his book The New Aesthetics of Musical Impotence: A Symptom of Decay? (1920) had attacked sharply, noted in 1922 a clear increase in Pfitzner's artistic standing and a decline of the previous figurehead of German music, Richard Strauss.

From the mid-1920s, Pfitzner's work was increasingly overshadowed by Richard Strauss's work. His 1932 opera The Heart was not very successful. In the musical life of the Third Reich he remained a marginal figure who was hardly noticed by the media and whose works were performed even less than in the late phase of the Weimar Republic . The Pfitzner biographer Walter Abendroth wrote enthusiastically about his Palestrina in 1935 : “It can not only be asserted but also proven that Pfitzner's 'Palestrina' as a poem in terms of size of sensation, genius of design, beauty of language and depth of Thought far surpasses anything that has ever been written as an 'opera text'. "

The Jewish conductor Bruno Walter , who was still friends with Pfitzner after 1945 , performed the Palestrina again in American exile in New York and wrote in 1947: “Personally, I count the performance of the Palestrina, in my opinion one of the most powerful musical works of our time, among the great Events of my life. "

Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt sees Pfitzner's work in 1969 as characterized by extreme ambivalence, initially determined by sharp dissonances and harsh linear counterpoint and therefore also criticized as modernist, but later following a more conservative musical aesthetic and rebelling against any modern conformism. The composer Wolfgang Rihm explains the low current popularity of Pfitzner's work in 1981 as follows:

“Pfitzner is too progressive to be simply slipped in like Korngold , and he is too conservative to have audibly influenced the music like Schoenberg . At first glance we do not find what is broken today in his work, but neither does what was unbroken from the past. We find both - so neither, and this stops attempts at classification. "

Since 1995, the conductor Werner Andreas Albert has recorded all of Pfitzner's orchestral works on CD. Nowadays, Pfitzner is a rarely performed composer. More recently, the conductors Christian Thielemann and Ingo Metzmacher in particular have tried to revive Pfitzner's music. Thielemann performed his opera Palestrina several times . He once said of Pfitzner: “Let the composers be what they want. We don't concern ourselves with their writings, but primarily with the notes they have written down. ”On October 3, 2007, on the occasion of the Day of German Unity, Ingo Metzmacher performed the orchestral cantata Von deutscher Seele . In the run-up, he was sharply criticized for this by Dieter Graumann , the then Vice-President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany . In Munich, where the opera Palestrina premiered in 1917, there was last a new production under the musical direction of Simone Young in 2009 , 30 years after the penultimate production in Munich. Metzmacher conducted the work in 2011 at the Zurich Opera House .

The Hans Pfitzner Society e. V. is dedicated to maintaining the work of Hans Pfitzner and publishes annually appearing messages .

Writing and political activities

Pfitzner closed himself to contemporary influences in his theoretical writings and represented an anti-modernist and anti-Semitic stance.

Until 1933

Concert with works by Beethoven and Pfitzner in Königsberg (1920), conductor: Hans Pfitzner

As early as 1898, Pfitzner wrote from Berlin to the “Jew” Paul Nikolaus Cossmann : “Perhaps this is the right place to mention that here in Berlin I was particularly trained as an anti-Semite; you have the danger and the power so close before your eyes. "

In 1917 Pfitzner's polemic Futuristengefahr appeared in the Süddeutsche Monatshefte . It was a response to what Pfitzner found disparaging remarks by the composer and music writer Ferruccio Busoni, who later lived in Berlin, about Ludwig van Beethoven, for example . Although Arnold Schönberg is not mentioned by name in the danger of futurists , he is - according to Josef-Horst Lederer - next to Busoni Pfitzner's main opponent. Birgit Jürgens puts the danger of futurists at the beginning of Pfitzner's "nationalist and anti-Semitic convictions until the end of his life". Futuristengefahr also appeared separately in 1917, in a second edition in 1921, and in 1926 he included it in his collected writings .

Thomas Mann , who in 1918 had called for joining the newly founded Hans Pfitzner Association for German Tonkunst , commented on Pfitzner's political standpoint in 1919: "The national artist had become an anti-democratic nationalist."

In the 1920s, Pfitzner's writings on music theory constructed a contrast between German music and its “Jewish decomposers”. Pfitzner paralleled the political and musical development, with the "German people" being led in the revolution after 1918 by "Russian-Jewish criminals" (Pfitzner). With a kind of "musical stab in the back" - according to the musicologist Annkatrin Dahm - he predicted the "end of German art":

“In the shame and iniquity of the revolution, we experienced with sadness that German workers, the German people, allowed themselves to be led by Russian-Jewish criminals, and showed them an enthusiasm that none of their German heroes and benefactors have ever seen. In art we experience that a German man from the people, of such keen understanding and rich knowledge as Herr Bekker [...] leads the international Jewish movement in art. I say: internationally Jewish, so I don't mean the Jews as individuals. There is a difference between Jew and Judaism. The dividing line of divorce in Germany does not go between Jew and non-Jew, but between feeling German-national and feeling internationally. "

- Hans Pfitzner : The new aesthetic of musical impotence. A decomposition symptom , 1920, p. 123 f.

Pfitzner tried to deny the new music any legitimacy in the musical tradition and justified this in an anti-Semitic way with publicity. Pfitzner's anti-Semitic polemics did not remain abstract, but were also directed specifically against people. Paul Bekker , who coined the term “ new music ” in 1919 and was an influential music critic for the Berliner Neuesten Nachrichten , the Berliner Allgemeine Zeitung and the Frankfurter Zeitung , was one of the main opponents named in 1920.

In 1926 Pfitzner wrote in an interview for the Süddeutsche Monatshefte , of which he was co-editor and whose nationalist agitation included the fight against the Versailles peace treaty , the propagation of the " war guilty lie " and especially in April / May 1924 the " stab in the back legend ": "... that, What can now still be called German in a good sense among our people will - as in earlier history - faithfully preserve the old heroism and fight on without hope and remain true to one another. "

From 1926 to 1929 three volumes of Pfitzner's collected writings were published , which, according to Joseph Wulf, contain a wealth of keywords that later Nazi cultural managers were familiar with: “Fate of national art”, “Preservation of our nature”, “international soullessness”, “anational Americanism "," jazz flood "," alien to the people "or" alien to nature ". Pfitzner wrote: "The anti-German, in whatever form it appears, as atonality, internationality, Americanism, German pacifism, destroys our existence, our culture from all sides and with it European."

Nazi era

In January 1933, the last themed issue of the Süddeutsche Monatshefte was published under Cossmann, and members of the editorial team were arrested in March. Cossmann was imprisoned in the Neuwittelsbach sanatorium on April 5 and transferred to Stadelheim in the summer . He was released on April 19, 1934. Pfitzner campaigned for the long-time friend with Reich President Hindenburg .

Thomas Mann (1937). A protest was directed against him in 1933, in which Pfitzner took part.

In April 1933 Pfitzner was one of the signatories of the “Protest of the Richard Wagner City of Munich” against Thomas Mann, after Thomas Mann had given the lecture on the suffering and greatness of Richard Wagner to the Richard Wagner Association in Amsterdam on February 13, 1933 . The same lecture went unnoticed in Munich. The appeal against the “denigration” of Wagner was published on 16./17. April 1933 in the Münchner Neuesten Nachrichten , signed by people whom Mann had taken to be friends up to this point and some of whom had private conversations with him, was one reason why Mann remained in exile after the lecture tour. Thomas Mann broke off friendly contact with Pfitzner and wrote about Pfitzner in 1947 as "A well-known old composer in Munich, faithful German and bitterly angry."

In May 1933 an action by Alfred Rosenberg's Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur was successful. Alfred Heuss had criticized a boycott of Pfitzner at the Berlin State Opera in the April issue of the magazine for music he edited , a “combat sheet for German, against new and international music” . In the May issue he reported success in an article entitled “Suggestions and wishes fulfilled”: The Kampfbund had arranged for the dismissal of General Music Director Otto Klemperer and organized a guest appearance by Pfitzner in Berlin.

At the end of July 1933, Pfitzner sent Hans Hinkel , State Commissioner and at that time Reich Organizational Director of the Kampfbund for German Culture and third manager of the Reich Chamber of Culture , three volumes of his writings published in 1926-29, and made suggestions as to how they were easiest to read. He particularly pointed out the text Futurists Danger it contained .

In July 1933, Pfitzner canceled a conduction at the Salzburg Festival for political reasons , as he did not want to serve "any non-German art matter". He participated in campaign calls for Hitler's policy in the elections in Austria on August 19, 1934, on March 29, 1936 and in the referendum on the annexation of Austria on April 10, 1938.

After Hindenburg's death in 1934, Pfitzner was one of the signatories of the call by cultural workers to a “ referendum ” on the unification of the Reich President and Chancellery, which appeared on August 18, 1934 in the Völkischer Beobachter .

Overall, Pfitzner was an important person in Nazi cultural policy. He took part in many representative events. Since 1936 he was a member of the Reich Culture Senate . The Reichskultursenat was a prestigious body that was supposed to upgrade the cultural policy of the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels against the competition within the party from Alfred Rosenberg . For many National Socialists, Pfitzner was a role model as a composer. The musicologist and composer Friedrich Welter classified him in his guide through the operas, which was written in the National Socialist spirit, as "folkish in the noblest sense". On February 20, 1940, the Gau Headquarters for Political Assessment of the NSDAP (Munich) made an assessment of Pfitzner: "Pfitzner opposes National Socialism in the affirmative". Membership in party organizations is not known, but also not excluded.

After a performance of Pfitzner's opera Das Herz in Ulm in 1938, it was a bit quiet around Pfitzner at times. When Pfitzner complained about this to Nazi cultural officials, after the beginning of World War II he was invited by leading Nazi officials as the "most German of contemporary German composers" to perform his works in occupied territories such as the Netherlands, Alsace and Paris. Pfitzner conducted his own works in occupied Holland in 1941, and attended a performance of Palestrina in occupied Paris in 1942 . At times, Hitler was reserved about the composer. The following note can be found in the Berlin Federal Archives (files of the Reich Chamber of Culture):

“The Führer agrees to a modest honor for Hans Pfitzner on his 75th birthday. However, there shouldn't be too much fuss about Pfitzner. 'As far as one can speak of good pieces at Pfitzner, the best should be performed.' In this context the question has arisen again whether Pfitzner is half or quarter Jewish. I ask for your opinion on this. "

Hans Frank (1939). Pfitzner composed the Krakow greeting for him .

In May 1944 he received a grant of 50,000 marks from Hitler . In August 1944, Pfitzner was not only mentioned in the Gottbegnadeten list , but also in the special list drawn up by Hitler with the three most important musicians among the "Gottbegnadeten", which released him from all war obligations.

In 1944 Pfitzner composed the Krakow Welcome Op. 54 as a homage to his friend and patron , the Governor General of the Government General Hans Frank , who was later convicted of war crimes . The orchestral piece was premiered at the beginning of December 1944 in Krakow , occupied Poland, under the direction of Hans Swarowsky (Pfitzner himself conducted the repetition). It was not Pfitzner's only composition dedicated to a politician: as early as 1916 he had dedicated two German chants to Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz (op. 25; 1915/16).


In June 1945 Pfitzner justified Hitler's anti-Semitism in his gloss on World War II by writing:

World Jewry is a problem & indeed a racial problem, but not just such, & it will be taken up again, whereby one will remember Hitler & see him differently than now, when the well-known donkey kick is given to the failed Belshazzar . It was his innate proletarianism that made him take the position of the exterminator who is required to exterminate a certain type of insect in relation to the most difficult of all human problems. So he is not to be blamed for the 'why', not 'that he did it', but only the 'how' he approached the task, the berserk-like clumsiness that then, in the course of events, led him to the atrocities that he had to be accused of leading. "

Jens Malte Fischer commented this statement by Pfitzner in 2002:

“A bitter old cracker becomes, so to speak, a real National Socialist only after the end of the war (he never belonged to the party) and ideological accomplices of mass murder. In any case, this attitude of mind, as it is also expressed in the few letters that Pfitzner exchanged with Bruno Walter after 1945, cannot necessarily be described as a consistent and seamless further development of his earlier positions. "

In the same text from mid-1945 Pfitzner wrote:

“World history has already seen that a human race can be exterminated from the surface of the earth, in the extermination of the originally magnificent Indian race […]. In terms of international morality and war customs, Hitler could actually feel himself "covered" by this single example; The 'how' of these acts of violence and methods of oppression is, of course, in and of itself worthy of condemnation, as far as it is based on truth and is not deliberately greatly exaggerated. Terrible things may have happened in the concentration camps, as they always occur in such periods of upheaval, as isolated cases and on the part of subordinate brutes, as they are always and everywhere, but least of all among German people. But if we Germans wanted to set up a counter-calculation of the atrocities that were perpetrated on us [...], the relationship between guilt and accusation of crime and judicial office would change enormously and be reversed. "

Jens Jessen commented on this quote as follows: "The composer's friends should be warned, however: arguments in favor of washing the composer clean will not be gained from this even through a philological reading."

In 1946 Pfitzner tried to portray his attitude in the Third Reich as an expression of his idealistic striving. In October 1946, Pfitzner sent a telegram to Hans Frank, who had been sentenced to death for his crimes in the Nuremberg trials , in which he expressed his grateful solidarity with him.

In the denazification proceedings , Pfitzner was classified as the main culprit in the arbitration chamber proceedings , but acquitted as "not affected by the law".

Position in the 21st century

A study by Sabine Busch Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism , published by Metzler in 2001, was able to make the ideological tug-of-war about the composer's entanglements in the Third Reich transparent with extensive source research. In the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , reviewer Ellen Kohlhaas wrote that this first documentary on Pfitzner's work under National Socialism was long overdue. Sabine Busch is presenting “not specifically and exclusively pro-Nazi documents”, but be careful not to reinterpret “Pfitzner's jostling with the Nazi bigwigs” as heroic deeds by an opponent of the regime. But Busch's analysis of all previously accessible documents, “including a number of newly found materials or materials that were published for the first time uncensored in full”, underpin Pfitzner's well-known image of the “anti-Semitic chauvinist” for the reviewer. The study contains macabre examples of Pfitzner's stubborn unteachability even after 1945, as well as attempts by Pfitzner to cover up his contacts with Nazi greats like Hans Frank. But it also shows that the National Socialists themselves occasionally found Pfitzner a nuisance and that his "elitist, often old-masterly grisly music" was "not very suitable for propaganda" for the regime.

Because of Pfitzner's proximity to Nazi Germany, some streets named after Pfitzner have meanwhile been renamed. In some cities the renaming is currently being sought, or it has been decided but not yet implemented.

  • In Hamburg , it was decided in 2009 to rename Pfitznerstrasse Friedensallee as an extension of the previous Friedensallee. The survey of the residents who should decide on this had resulted in a large majority in favor of this solution. The resolution came into force on January 27, 2011.
  • Further renaming took place in March 2012 in Hamm and in May 2012 in Münster .
  • In Hanover , the Advisory Board recommended in its final report, which was presented in November 2018, that 17 of around 500 roads be renamed, including Pfitznerstrasse.
  • In Lübeck , the citizenship decided in January 2019 to rename Hindenburgplatz, Pfitznerstraße and Lenardweg. Explanatory panels will in future point out the background of the renaming. A working group made up of representatives from various parties had previously classified a total of 14 street names, the names of which have references to National Socialism, colonialism or militarism , as "polluted". The main reason given for the renaming of Pfitznerstrasse is that Pfitzner still expressed anti-Semitic views after 1945. In addition, Pfitzner's relationship to Lübeck is negative, as Pfitzner took part in a signature campaign against Thomas Mann, who, together with Willy Brandt, is one of the city's most famous sons.
  • Efforts were made to rename Pfitznerstrasse in Wiesbaden in September 2019. In February 2020, the renaming was decided upon against votes from the AfD and CDU.
  • The cultural committee of the state capital Düsseldorf commissioned the city archive and the memorial and memorial site in March 2018 to review the names of streets and squares in Düsseldorf. The culture committee was informed of the results in January 2020. Pfitznerstrasse in Düsseldorf-Benrath , which has been named since 1950, is one of the streets proposed for renaming . The street name is justified as heavily burdened and unsustainable on the grounds of aggressive anti-Semitism and outstanding position in the Third Reich.

The City of Vienna decided on the solution of keeping problematic street names, but adding an additional plaque to the street signs in particularly critical cases. A commission had classified 170 personal street names as problematic; In 28 particularly problematic cases with "intensive need for discussion", additional boards were used. The additional board for Pfitznergasse was installed in December 2016. The text reads: “Hans Pfitzner (1869–1949) / German conductor, opera director, pianist and composer with adopted home in Vienna and Salzburg. The problem with his biography is that he was a pronounced anti-Semite and played down Nazi crimes throughout his life. "


Awards during his lifetime

125th birthday of Hans Pfitzner: German postage stamp from 1994 based on a portrait drawing by Emil Orlik
Berlin memorial plaque in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Durlacher Strasse 25

Posthumous honors

  • 1994: Special stamp of the Deutsche Bundespost for Pfitzner's 125th birthday
  • 2000: Memorial plaque on the house at Durlacher Strasse 25 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf , where Pfitzner lived from 1899 to 1907, donated by the Hans Pfitzner Society

In numerous places streets or paths were named after Hans Pfitzner, for example Pfitznergasse in Vienna- Liesing (1957), Hans-Pfitzner-Straße in Salzburg (1958) and a total of around 30 streets in Germany. Because of Pfitzner's proximity to the National Socialists, some of these streets have been renamed since 2010 ( see above ).


  • From musical drama. Munich / Leipzig 1915.
  • Futurist danger. Munich / Leipzig 1917.
  • The new aesthetic of musical impotence. Munich 1920.
  • Work and reproduction. Augsburg 1929.
  • About musical inspiration. Berlin 1940.
  • Collected writings, Volume I. Augsburg 1926 (therein: Futuristengefahr , pp. 185-223).
  • Collected writings, Volume II. Augsburg 1926.
  • Collected writings, Volume III: work and reproduction. Augsburg 1929.
  • Collected Writings, Volume IV , ed. by Bernhard Adamy. Schneider, Tutzing 1987, ISBN 3-7952-0484-4 .
  • Letters (2 volumes), ed. by Bernhard Adamy. Schneider, Tutzing 1991, ISBN 3-7952-0661-8 and ISBN 3-7952-0662-6 .

Student of Hans Pfitzner


  • Bernhard Adamy: Hans Pfitzner. Literature, philosophy and current affairs in his worldview and work. Schneider, Tutzing 1980, ISBN 978-3-7952-0288-0 .
  • Bernhard Adamy:  Pfitzner, Hans Erich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 20, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-00201-6 , pp. 341-343 ( digitized version ).
  • George Alexander Albrecht : The symphonic work of Hans Pfitzner. Critical comments on the text and notes on performance practice . Schneider, Tutzing 1987, ISBN 978-3-7952-0505-8 .
  • Veronika Beci : ... because everything comes from longing. Tendencies of an Eichendorff reception through the song, 1850–1910 . Dissertation University of Münster 1995, Verlag Musikalienhandlung Wagner, Eisenach 1997, ISBN 3-88979-075-5 .
  • Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. JB Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2001, ISBN 3-476-45288-3 .
  • Helmut Grohe: Hans Pfitzner. List of all works published in print. Publisher FE C Leuckart, Munich / Leipzig 1960.
  • Margrit Hügel: Pfitzner memories . In: Communications from the Hans Pfitzner Society. N. FH 70 (2010), pp. 156-162.
  • Michael H. Kater : Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits. Oxford University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-19-515286-7 , pp. 144-182.
  • Erwin Kroll : Hans Pfitzner and the youth. Cultural Office of the Gaustudentenführung Kurhessen, Marburg 1943.
  • Ekkehard Lippold: Hans Pfitzner's conception of the musical drama. Dissertation, University of Freiburg im Breisgau 1996. ( full text ).
  • Karl Franz Müller: In memoriam Hans Pfitzner. Vienna 1950
  • Hans Rutz: Hans Pfitzner. Music between times. Humboldt, Vienna 1949.
  • Michael Schwalb: Hans Pfitzner. Composer between vision and abyss. Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-7917-2746-2
  • Wolfram Selig : Pfitzner, Hans. In: Handbuch des Antisemitismus , Volume 2/2, 2009, p. 635
  • Hans Rudolf Vaget: Magic of the soul. Thomas Mann and the music. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-10-087003-4 (Chapter 8).
  • Christian Vitalis : Hans Pfitzner's choral fantasy "The Dark Realm". Dohr, Cologne 2006, ISBN 978-3-936655-39-1 .
  • Johann Peter Vogel: Hans Pfitzner. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1989, ISBN 3-499-50386-7 .
  • Johann Peter Vogel: Hans Pfitzner - life, works, documents. Atlantis, Zurich 1999.
  • Johann Peter Vogel: Pfitzner's relationship to Jews and Judaism . Communications from the Hans Pfitzner Society 70 (2009), pp. 8–29. (revised version 2011). Online as pdf [1]
  • John Williamson (musicologist): The Music of Hans Pfitzner. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1992, ISBN 0-19-816160-3 ( Oxford Monographs on Music ).
  • Friederike Wißmann: Deutsche Musik , Berlin Verlag, 2015, pages 260 to 263 and 270 to 278
  • Volker Milch: "trivializing Nazi crimes" (on the renaming of Pfitznerstrasse in Wiesbaden). In: Wiesbadener Kurier , January 13, 2020

Web links

Commons : Hans Pfitzner  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Writings by Hans Pfitzner


Individual evidence

  1. Hans Schnoor : History of Music. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1954, pp. 596 and 597.
  2. a b c d biography of Hans Pfitzner pfitzner-gesellschaft.de
  3. Hans Pfitzner in the Lied portal on gmg-bw.de, see section Songs without opus number (chronological) .
  4. H. Loennecker (2003): "... to gain ground for Adolf Hitler's ideas in the cultural field." The "Combat League for German Culture" and the German academics. www.burschenschaftsgeschichte.de (PDF; 188 kB) accessed on October 4, 2010
  5. ^ Hanns-Werner Heister and Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer (eds.): Contemporary composers , edition text + kritik, Munich, 1992ff, article on Hans Pfitzner by Reinhard Ermen
  6. ^ Johann Peter Vogel: Hans Pfitzner: Life, Works, Documents. Atlantis Musikbuch-Verlag, Zurich / Mainz 1999, p. 72.
  7. MGG 10, p. 1170; Digital Library 4, p. 59.315.
  8. a b Jost Hermand: Splendor and misery of the German opera. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne / Weimar 2008, p. 166.
  9. ^ Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 335.
  10. ^ A b c d Jens Malte Fischer: Hans Pfitzner and contemporary history. An artist between bitterness and anti-Semitism . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of January 5, 2002.
  11. Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. Metzler, Stuttgart 2001, p. 222.
  12. ^ A request from the Munich Gauleitung regarding a political assessment of Pfitzner's person was answered by an NSDAP office on February 20, 1940. It contains references to his character: “Prof. Dr. Pfitzner closes himself off very much and is therefore little known, and he is also very much absent. He is portrayed as a grumpy person who treats his employees and musicians harshly. ”Quoted from Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 341.
  13. Pfitzner, Mali 1893–1963 worldcat.org
  14. Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. Metzler, Stuttgart 2001, pp. 332-363.
  15. ^ Michael Schwalb: Hans Pfitzner. Composer between vision and abyss. Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg 2016, chapter farewell .
  16. dtv-Atlas zur Musik - Tafeln und Texte , Vol. 2: Historical part: From the baroque to the present , Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag and Bärenreiter Verlag, Munich 1985, p. 517.
  17. Brockhaus-Riemann Musiklexikon , Vol. 2, FA Brockhaus, Wiesbaden and B. Schott's Sons, Mainz 1979, p. 297.
  18. Ingo Metzmacher on Pfitzner's modern tonal language in Palestrina : “The piece is so special because it depicts Pfitzner's great inner conflict. Namely the one between the tradition that he wanted to preserve and the attempt to renew something without revealing what has been acquired, the great tradition, the origin. He composed much more modernly than he wanted to admit. ”In: Why a leftist conducts the music of the Nazi era , Welt am Sonntag, January 3, 2008.
  19. ^ Arthur Honegger: Palestrina . In: Profession and craft of the composer - discussions without illusions, reviews, essays , Philipp Reclam jun., Leipzig 1980, p. 55.
  20. ^ Alma Mahler-Werfel: Mein Leben , Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1991, p. 69.
  21. Hans Rudolf Vaget: "The good, old anti-Semitism". Hans Pfitzner, Bruno Walter and the Holocaust. In: Albrecht Riethmüller (ed.): Bruckner problems. Volume 45 of the Archives for Musicology , Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 1996, p. 216.
  22. Jost Hermand : Hans Pfitzner: Palestrina (1917) - A musical legend . In: Splendor and misery of the German opera. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar 2008, p. 176.
  23. ^ Walter Abendroth: Hans Pfitzner . Langen Müller, Munich 1935, p. 517, quoted from Arthur Honegger: Palestrina . In: Profession and craft of the composer - Discussions without illusions, reviews, essays , Reclam, Leipzig 1980, p. 55.
  24. Bruno Walter: Theme and Variations - Memories and Thoughts . Fischer, Stockholm 1960, p. 291.
  25. Johann Peter Vogel: Hans Pfitzner - With self-testimonials and image documents , Rowohlt, Reinbek 1989, p. 143.
  26. Wolfgang Rihm and Ulrich Mosch : Pronounced - Writings and Conversations , Volume 1 (Publications of the Paul Sacher Foundation, Volume 6), Verlag Schott, 1998, p. 267.
  27. ^ Hans Pfitzner: Complete Orchestral Works [Box Set] - Werner Andreas Albert. CD information from Allmusic , accessed January 24, 2015.
  28. Hans Pfitzner, the indigestible. Article on beckmesser.de , also published on December 4, 2007 in the FAZ , accessed on January 24, 2015.
  29. ^ Christian Thielemann, Beethoven and the Schnitzel. Article from December 5, 2010 on focus.de , accessed on January 24, 2015.
  30. I am a German soul interview with Ingo Metzmacher in the period 27 September, 2007.
  31. ^ Central Council of Jews in Germany: Berliner Philharmonie plays anti-Semites hagalil.com, October 2, 2007.
  32. Review staged tastefully on magazin.klassik.com, June 1, 2010.
  33. The artist - powerful in his autonomy. Report in the NZZ of December 12, 2011 on the Zurich performance of Palestrina , accessed on January 24, 2015.
  34. ^ Notices from the Hans Pfitzner Society pfitzner-gesellschaft.de
  35. ^ Albrecht Riethmüller: Busoni studies. In: Archives for Musicology . 42 (1985), pp. 263-286, here p. 273.
  36. Josef-Horst Lederer: Pfitzner - Schönberg: Theory of Opposites. In: Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 35 (1978), pp. 297–309, here p. 297.
  37. Press release University of Hildesheim.
  38. Hans Pfitzner: Futurist Danger on wikilivres.ca ( Memento from December 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  39. ^ Announcements of the Hans Pfitzner Society ( Memento of October 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 499 kB), p. 5; the full name of the club is missing here.
  40. ^ Hans Rudolf Vaget: Music in Munich. In: Thomas Mann Yearbook 1994 , Frankfurt am Main 1995, pp. 41–70, here 61.
  41. Thomas Mann: Pfitzner's Palestrina , special print from: Considerations einer Unpolitischen , Berlin 1919, p. 29. Quoted from Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, pp. 335f.
  42. a b c Annkatrin Dahm: The Topos of the Jews: Studies on the history of anti-Semitism in German-language music literature. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007. p. 192.
  43. Pfitzner 1920 based on Annkatrin Dahm: Der Topos der Juden: Studies on the history of anti-Semitism in German-language music literature. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007. p. 192.
  44. Quoted from Fred K. Prieberg: Handbook of German Musicians 1933–1945 , CD-ROM Lexicon, Kiel 2004, pp. 5194f.
  45. ^ Paul Bekker: New Music. In: Gesammelte Schrifte , Vol. 3, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart and Berlin 1923, pp. 85–118 at Wikisource
  46. Horst Seeger : music lexicon persons A-Z . Deutscher Verlag für Musik , Leipzig 1981. p. 77.
  47. Annkatrin Dahm: Der Topos der Juden: Studies on the history of anti-Semitism in German-language music literature. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007. p. 191.
  48. ^ Historical Lexicon of Bavaria, article "Süddeutsche Monatshefte".
  49. Sabine Busch-Frank: “Faithfully preserving the old heroism” - Comments on Pfitzner's political and ideological worldview in the years 1933–1945 . GRIN Verlag, Munich 2003.
  50. ^ Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 336.
  51. ^ Hans Pfitzner: Gesammelte Schriften , Volume II, Augsburg 1926, p. 119.
  52. ^ Theresienstadt-Lexikon , article: Paul Nikolaus Cossmann
  53. Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. Metzler, Stuttgart 2001, pp. 160 ff. Sabine Busch (-Frank) notes that the rumor persists in research that Pfitzner was the initiator of the “protest”; But this was organized by the Munich conductor Hans Knappertsbusch. Hans Rudolf Vaget : Music in Munich. Thomas Mann Yearbook 1994 , Frankfurt am Main 1995, pp. 41–70, here 48f. describes Pfitzner as the initiator of the appeal and notes that the decisive letter, which reveals Pfitzner as the main actor, is also missing in the latest edition of the letters.
  54. ^ Source for date and place: Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 314.
  55. Klaus Schröter : Thomas Mann in the judgment of his time. Frankfurt am Main 2000, p. 401.
  56. Thomas Mann: Congratulations to Hermann Hesse . In: Die neue Zeitung of June 30, 1947.
  57. ^ Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 72f.
  58. ^ Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich. A documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, pp. 335f.
  59. Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. Metzler, Stuttgart 2001, pp. 177-191.
  60. Wolfgang Schreiber: History of the Salzburg Festival: Clear the stage for the end of the world. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . July 18, 2013, accessed August 16, 2016 .
  61. a b c Ernst Klee : The culture lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 , p. 456.
  62. ^ Fred K. Prieberg: Music in the Nazi State , Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-596-26901-6 , p. 223.
  63. ^ Nina Okrassa: Peter Raabe - conductor, music writer and president of the Reichsmusikkammer (1872–1945) . Böhlau, Cologne 2004, ISBN 9783412093044 , p. 275.
  64. Reinhard Bollmus, Stephan Lehnstaedt : The office of Rosenberg and his opponents: Studies on the power struggle in the National Socialist system of rule. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2006, p. 80.
  65. Friedrich Welter: Guide through the operas. The standard works and new releases of the German opera repertoire based on modern guidelines with descriptions of their creators' lives with an opera story and two directories. Hachmeister and Thal, Leipzig around 1940, p. 218.
  66. ^ Joseph Wulf: Music in the Third Reich - A Documentation , Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 341.
  67. Quotation and assessment by Fred K. Prieberg: Music in the Nazi State , Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-596-26901-6 , p. 222f.
  68. Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. Metzler, Stuttgart 2001, p. 137.
  69. Sabine Busch: Hans Pfitzner and National Socialism. Metzler, Stuttgart 2001, pp. 243-253.
  70. Bernhard Adamy: Hans Pfitzner , Volume 1 of the publications of the Hans Pfitzner Society, Verlag H. Schneider, 1980, p. 337.
  71. Sinje Ewert: Music in the "Third Reich" - A research report. In: Helmut Neuhaus (Ed.): Archive for Cultural History , Volume 91, Issue 1, Böhlau Verlag, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2009, p. 202.
  72. Quoted from Jens Malte Fischer: Hans Pfitzner and contemporary history. An artist between bitterness and anti-Semitism . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of January 5, 2002.
  73. Complete Writings , Vol. IV, Tutzing 1987, pp. 337 ff., Quoted from Jens Jessen: Can you save Hans Pfitzner? in: Die Zeit , October 31, 2007.
  74. Jens Jessen: Can you save Hans Pfitzner? in: Die Zeit , October 31, 2007.
  75. See especially the letter to his pupil Felix Wolfes of July 11, 1946; published in Bernhard Adamy (Ed.): Hans Pfitzner Briefe , Tutzing 1991, p. 1006.
  76. ^ Fred K. Prieberg: Music in the Nazi State , Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-596-26901-6 , p. 225.
  77. ^ Text of the telegram: "Dear friend Frank. Take this warm greeting as a sign of solidarity even in difficult times. Always your Dr. Hans Pfitzner. “Quoted from: Hans Pfitzner and Die Zeitgeschichte , NZZ , January 5, 2002.
  78. a b Ellen Kohlhaas: Review: Sachbuch. Clay composer's bilious bitterness. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 26, 2002.
  79. Pfitznerstrasse is to become Friedensallee Hamburger Abendblatt, November 14, 2009
  80. Hamburgisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt, Official Gazette of July 2, 2010 (PDF), p. 1122 (PDF page 2), point 4.
  81. ^ Nazi past: new names for four streets wa.de, March 5, 2012
  82. ^ City of Münster: Street names - Pfitznerstraße (accessed August 15, 2019)
  83. These streets should have a different name haz.de, November 4, 2018.
  84. Lübeck's Hindenburgplatz is renamed ln-online.de, February 1, 2019.
  85. a b Hindenburgplatz is now called Republikplatz shz.de, August 14, 2019.
  86. Because of anti-Semitism: Local Advisory Board Northeast wants to rename Pfitznerstrasse merkurist.de, September 14, 2019.
  87. ^ Wiesbaden: New name for Pfitznerstrasse . In: Frankfurter Rundschau from February 14, 2020.
  88. Final report of the advisory board on the review of Düsseldorf street and square naming , on duesseldorf.de
  89. ^ First additional panels for problematic street names in Vienna derstandard.at, December 1, 2016.
  90. City of Vienna: Additional table for historically loaded street names , accessed on August 15, 2019.
  91. a b Hans Pfitzner in the Vienna History Wiki
  92. ^ Berlin memorial plaque for Hans Pfitzner pfitzner-gesellschaft.de
  93. ^ Pfitznerstrasse , Hans-Pfitzner-Strasse and Hans-Pfitzner-Ways in Germany. (It is possible that not all "Pfitznerstrasse" refer to Hans Pfitzner.)
  94. Mentioned in compositions by the master students of Hans Pfitzner (Berlin 1929), entry in the OBV database